9 Free Art Shows in Downtown Phoenix on First Friday, September 4

Never fear if you sometimes feel torn during First Friday between making the art rounds and going to see a performance. Several First Friday venues are mixing it up on September 4, delivering not only intriguing art but cool dance and music offerings, too. There’s an awful lot going on, so get an early start and make sure you hit these shows:

Cumbia Dance Night
Liliana Gomez premières a new dance work titled Long live our Lady, inspired by Our Lady of Guadalupe, the patron saint of Mexico. It’s being performed at the Phoenix Art Museum by Monika Avalos, Elisa Cavallero, Celia Duran, Lacee Garcie, Joseph Mack Hall, Nicole L. Olson, Ramon Soto, and Travis Richardson. The evening also includes music from Big Brain-winning collective Clandestino, Mariachi Pasión, and others. Poets Tarfia Faizullah and francine j. harris will read from their works at 7 p.m. and museum visitors can also explore several exhibitions. First Friday hours are 6 to 10 p.m. Find more information on the Phoenix Art Museum website.

“Hot Summer Nights”
Three Arizona transplants — Catherine Slye, Jared Elizares, and Marshall Shore — share their photographs of Phoenix, all taken at night. Slye’s images are purely digital, whereas photographs by Elizares were created using a large-scale camera with a design rooted in 19th century photography. Shore’s work provides the historical context for this collaborative photography project. It’s the first exhibition for Nancy Hill’s new gallery Chartreuse (in the space formerly home to Frontal Lobe gallery). Friday’s opening reception takes place from 6 to 10 p.m. Find more information on the Chartreuse Facebook page.

“Los Ojos y los Pies de la Mujer que Emigro”
Christina Cardenas and Monica Gisel are exhibiting works informed by their personal experiences as women artists and mothers who immigrated to Arizona. Cardenas uses pre-Colombian symbolism, and Gisel calls on the mysticism of her Oaxaqueñan heritage. The artist reception for their exhibition “The eyes and feet of the immigrant woman” takes place First Friday from 6 to 9 p.m. at Olney Gallery at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral. Find more information on the Olney Gallery Facebook page.

“Sex, Cars and Cows, Taming the Wild West”
Eclectic works by Skip Bailey, from Western watercolors to erotic art, are being shown at Alwun House, along with works by Jack Adams. Both are seasoned travelers whose adventures have informed their work. Friday’s opening reception, which takes place from 7 to 10 p.m. features performance by The Robby Roberson Band and both artists will be in the house. Find more information on the Alwun House website.

“Celebrando Nuestra Cultura”
Fifteen Arizona artists explore the Mexican experience in this exhibition curated by José Andres Giron and Elizabeth Toledo for the Arizona Latino Arts and Cultural Center, which is also showing an exhibition of 70 black-and-white photographic portraits by La Voz journalist Beatriz Limón. First Friday offerings, which begin at 6 p.m., also include a ballet folklorico performance by Tradiciones Dance Company and music by Mariachi Juvenil Mi Tierra. Find more information on the ALAC Facebook page.

“Puer Aeternus: Eternal Youth”
Inspired by the mythology of a child-god who is forever young, and a modern iteration dubbed “Peter Pan syndrome,” photographers Michael Tindle and Michael Warren Williams have collaborated to present an exhibition exploring themes of age, neglect, and the societal norms of Millennials. This Friday’s opening reception at Step Gallery at Grant Street Studios takes place from 6 to 9 p.m. Find more information on the ASU Events website.

“Arte Latino”
Artists Oliverio Balcells, Carmen Guerrero, and Carlos Encinas explore the constantly changing definitions of Latino, Chicano, Mexican, and Hispanic in Arizona. See their works at the Phoenix Center for the Arts gallery from 6 to 9 p.m. Find more information on Oliverio Balcells’ website.

“Celebrating the Circle”
Works by more than two dozen artists are part of “Celebrating the Circle: The Universal Shape That Inspired Humanity” at First Studio, which is curated by Kris Kollasch and Geoff Gildner, who also have works in the show. Other featured artists include Denise Yaghmourian, David Higgins, Jules Gissler, and Farhana Ahmed. Friday's opening reception takes place from 6 to 10 p.m. Find more information on the First Studio Facebook page.

"Art in Motion"
Paintings and sculpture by Gennaro Garcia are featured in this solo exhibition opening during First Friday at the Shade Gallery at monOrchid. Most are new works, and many are "peppered with religious references and his heritage. Gennaro will be on hand for the opening reception taking place from 6 to 10 p.m. Find more information on the monOrchid website.

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